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What Is Green Flooring?

More and more customers are asking what options that they have for "green" flooring products, and, obviously, the need has arisen for a more proactive approach to our environment.

With more information about harsh and harmful additives, by-products, and hazardous components present in various building materials and the impact that these substances have on Mother Earth and our health, "green" products are in very high demand these days.

Not only is health consciousness an issue, but also the sustainability of the forests worldwide. We are all aware of the greenhouse effect warnings that appear in the news almost daily, so taking a few extra steps to do what we can every day to ensure that our planet and our buildings are safe places becomes not only a prudent choice, but a social obligation.

Did you know that bamboo is a grass product that grows incredibly fast and is generally harvested in three to seven years? What about cork, which comes from the cork oak tree that is never actually cut down; they just peel the bark off every eight to 14 years!

These are just two products that would be excellent environmentally safe choices for your upcoming project. Remember: It is the choices that we make today that will impact the world that we live in tomorrow.

So, what does green flooring really mean?

This question can be answered in several different ways, actually. Each way refers directly to the impact that a product's production, refining, or maintenance may have on the environment as a whole.

Let's take a look at some of the options that make a flooring product "green."

Hardwood Flooring
The first and somewhat obvious choice to observe would be hardwood flooring. Hardwood flooring has existed for centuries—probably a lot longer—and has always been the prime choice for flooring.

Unfortunately, up until recently, this industry was potentially causing a lot of harm to the world's supply of free-growing trees. However, the growing awareness of our planet's limited resources and the ability to reproduce some of those resources has brought attention to our needs as individuals and as a society as a whole to conserve.

So now we come to how hardwood is green. Many different elements can make hardwood "greener" than the next. The most important is probably the method of harvesting and controlled growth. Around the world, various companies have devoted large plantations to the preservation and strict controlled harvesting of their products.

Another method to make hardwood more "green" is the engineered wood process. Hardwood generally comes in two constructions: solid and engineered.

A solid product is just what it says: a chunk of wood milled into plank or strip form. It uses much more actual wood than the alternate.

The more environmentally friendly engineered products consist of a veneer of the actual wood over a sturdy construction of lesser wood, such as plywood. At times, a second wood layer is added to the bottom, as well.

A small portion of hardwood flooring's "green" factor is included into the maintenance suggestions. Chemicals are generally controlled by local or federal laws, but some of those that pass can still be harmful to the atmosphere. It is important to investigate which substances put out problematic fumes.

Cork Flooring
A highly popular form of green flooring currently on the market is cork flooring. While technically a wood, the harvesting process leaves the tree still alive and can be repeated many times during the tree's 240-year lifespan.

In this method, the bark is carefully removed from the cork oak tree and left to dry for some months before being sent into production. This entire process—of not cutting down the tree at all—is one of the most effective "green" methods available today.

For most other flooring products, the limitations begin to grow at this point. For linoleum and vinyl, harmful VOCs must be limited with the creation and recycling of these products. Newer products have safer, more environmentally sound methods and better recycling procedures to ensure the controlled and reduced amount of harmful toxins released.

Tile Flooring
Tile flooring—and wall tiles, roofing tiles, and any other kind of tile, for that matter—has long been an environmental form of flooring not given much acclaim. Tile is a great choice for the environment because of its simple manufacturing process.

For thousands of years, the methods have only become more efficient, but never changed. Mud, clay, dirt, and other natural components are heated in an oven—often multiple times—to create the sturdy product with which we are all familiar.
This article is courtesy of FloorMall.com.

Product Roundup

Phoenix from American Hi-Tech Flooring
Phoenix Epoxy One-Step Deck Covering is a durable, colorful composition of natural marble stone for a tough wearing surface with a tough chemical resistant epoxy binder. Phoenix is designed to provide more reliability than conventional types of terrazzo and to completely eliminate the necessity of the expensive and time consuming grinding process. Phoenix lends itself to every type of challenging flooring need today. Phoenix is manufactured by American Hi-Tech Flooring.

The trend toward hard surface flooring in all types of facilities has created a risk, slippery surfaces, that is being addressed head-on by SkidFree, a subsidiary of Apex Flooring,
LLC. SkidFree's mission is to make walking surfaces of any type safer – wet or dry. SkidFree offers a range of treatment services to address any slippery surface, including tile, marble, granite, and concrete, plus construction consulting services to proactively address safety risks. Solutions are cost-effective and generally range from $1 to $3 per square foot, a fraction of replacing at-risk floors.

Functional Expression from Bentley Prince Street
Bentley Prince Street, a leading manufacturer of stylish floorcoverings for nearly three decades, has launched Functional Expression, a collection of five carpet patterns that work together to provide an aesthetic that is both inventive and practical. All five styles – Avant Gardia, Euro Modern, Historical Revival, Industrial Society and Structural Obsession – are available in broadloom, 18" X 18" carpet tile and 36" X 36" carpet tile. All five patterns in the Functional Expression Collection are manufactured with varying levels of recycled content in the yarn.  www.bentleyprincestreet.com

Awana Game Floors from Electra Tarp
Current trends show valued space is often required to serve for numerous functions. Electra Tarp's custom Awana game floor offers the versatility to turn your space into a multipurpose facility. The flexibility of using this game floor on any surface gives boundless options where this activity can be held. The game floor is manufactured using durable reinforced vinyl with painted Awana game circle. Remove the game floor by simply folding and storing away. Whether your space is large or small, a game floor can be constructed to fit your needs.

Robbins Pulastic Floors
Pulastic floors deliver decades of durability and superior wear resistance for any indoor application. All Pulastic systems feature high-quality polyurethane resin and a resurfaceable wear layer, providing ideal traction, correct ball rebound and excellent shock and sound absorption. Pulastic floors meets LEED Certification requirements for use of recycled products and are free of mercury, lead and other heavy materials.  Pulastic is strong enough to stand up to heavy tables, chairs and bleacher loads, all while offering a surface that is comfortable and long lasting.

LG RexCourt Resilient Sports Flooring from Gerbert
LG RexCourt is the ultimate multi-purpose flooring solution. LG RexCourt offers the look of hard wood with unmatched shock absorption, elasticity and stability, superior noise level reduction, and great style. RexCourt is engineered for outstanding durability with a special polyurethane coating for easy maintenance and economical, long-lasting good looks. And, the exclusive antibacterial surface coating provides a healthier environment for everyone. Gerbert Limited is the exclusive U.S. distributor of LG RexCourt sports floors.

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